Business marketing alumna Rebeca Feria stands in front of the altar during the Day of the Dead event at the college on Nov. 2. Photo credit: Stephen Priel

Algonquin College brought the vibrant spirit of “Dia de Muertos” to life for the second year in a row, with an eye-catching celebration in the Student Commons on Nov. 2.

The Day of the Dead is important in Mexican culture as it serves as a time to commemorate and cherish the memories of family members and loved ones who have departed. In Mexican tradition it is believed that the souls of the deceased return to visit the living families in homes, cemeteries and elsewhere on this day.

Veronica Sanchez is an aesthetician student who, as a Colombian, follows similar rituals to what the Mexicans do on the Day of The Dead.

“I lost my four grandparents a few years ago and I have pictures of them around my house as a way of remembering them. I also believe they watch over me. I live by myself and I feel like feel someone is watching over me,” said Sanchez.

The event featured the main centrepiece of a table with an alter. This alter has various components such as sugar skulls, which symbolize death and the afterlife, and candles to welcome back the spirits.

The traditional “pan de muerto” (bread of the dead) and hot chocolate were also served at the event. In addition, there were colouring sheets with Day of The Dead designs.

“This event lets me see how they celebrate certain events and how they celebrate their culture. I believe overall the Day of The Dead is a great way to commemorate people who have family that are not with them anymore, ” said business student Joshua Ansaldo.

Business marketing alumna and host of this event, Rebeca Feria, shared a similar sentiment. As someone of Mexican descent, she believes having this celebration is a perfect way to teach students about Latin culture.

“I believe through traditions they help you connect with that culture. In our case as international students we need to maintain all these kinds of traditions that keep us connected with our culture, our families and our friends,” said Feria.

“It’s wonderful that the college offers this kind of space to show other students the different cultures and how they can learn about those cultures,” added Feria.